Daily Dose of Immortality

John, you left the tradition you must have felt held you captive. Did it feel like you were falling into empty space? You were throwing off the structure Mormonism had provided. The Kiwanis, the chiropractor, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Potter’s House, or even the Mormons could have supplied meaning and fellowship. But you had had enough of structured fellowship.

That’s for damned sure!

Some of what you needed, John, was what you left behind.

And some of what I needed was waiting for me with open arms. I worry about you, Scott, about your inability to step away from a religion that encourages bigotry and punishes difference.

[from Immortal for Quite Some Time]


Our mother, Janice Hilton Abbott

About Scott Abbott

I received my Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University in 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I directed the Program in Integrated Studies for its initial 13 years and was also Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy for three years. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (REPETITIONS and VAMPIRES & A REASONABLE DICTIONARY, published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade and in English with Punctum Books), a book with Sam Rushforth (WILD RIDES AND WILDFLOWERS, Torrey House Press), a "fraternal meditation" called IMMORTAL FOR QUITE SOME TIME (University of Utah Press), and translations of three books by Austrian author Peter Handke, of an exhibition catalogue called "The German Army and Genocide," and, with Dan Fairbanks, of Gregor Mendel's important paper on hybridity in peas. More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and dance/yoga studio manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as an ecologist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a parole officer, as a contractor, as a seasonal worker (Alaska and Park City, Utah), and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett, with whom I have written a cultural history of barbed wire -- THE PERFECT FENCE (Texas A&M University Press). Some publications at http://works.bepress.com/scott_abbott/
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2 Responses to Daily Dose of Immortality

  1. roughghosts says:

    This excerpt caught my attention yesterday, Scott. I recently finished a book for a journal review called Witness by Robert Rient. Rient is a writer and psychologist who grew up gay and Jehovah’s Witness in Catholic Poland. Structured fellowship at the cost of being oneself is hard to step away from and totally unforgiving when you do. In his case his parents stayed in touch with both of their sons (his older brother married a former Catholic) and although they were not formally defellowshipped, his father was demoted to the lowest possible rank after more than 20 years as an elder. When he was outed he was told it would have better if you had murdered someone—a forgiveable sin, I suppose.


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